Tuesday, September 22, 2009

NYT on Border Fence: "There’s No Good Way of Gauging the Effectiveness"

Posted By on Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 11:12 AM

The New York Times opines on the wall between the U.S. and Mexico:

Auditors reported last week that the high-tech, 28-mile “virtual” section of the fence was running a mere seven years behind this month’s planned opening. Initially, designers talked of using off-the-shelf technology for the radar, cameras and other sensors, but problems cropped up. (Imagine, discovering that cameras tremble in rough weather.) “I’m trying to figure out why this is so difficult,” said Representative Michael McCaul of Texas. “These are basically cameras on a pole.”

The current cost estimate for the Buck Rogers barrier? $1.1 billion.

Investigators from the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office report that the larger, actual fence — covering a 600 mile-plus stretch between San Diego and Brownsville, Tex. — cost $2.4 billion to build and will cost an extra $6.5 billion in upkeep across two decades.

Investigators also concluded that there’s no good way of gauging the effectiveness of the fence.

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